Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
9/11 Dust Linked to Prostate Cancer in First RespondersOcean Swimming Causes Skin Changes: StudyNew Drug Combats Leading Cause of DwarfismAHA News: What Migraine Sufferers Need to Know About Stroke RiskNorovirus Fears Stir Recall of Frozen BlackberriesFlying Insects in Hospitals Carry 'Superbug' GermsU.S. Cases of Infant Gut Illness Plummet After Vaccine IntroducedAHA News: This Faulty Gene May Help Predict Heart Muscle DiseaseCell Mapping Provides New Insights About AsthmaHealth Tip: Recognizing Balance DisordersThe Safer Way to Ease Post-Surgical PainSudden Death Can Occur Even in Well-Controlled EpilepsyStatins May Lower Risk of Stroke After Cancer RadiotherapyExperimental Drug Shows Early Promise Against Sickle Cell DiseaseVitamin D Supplements May Not Help Your HeartHow to Head Off a Pain in the NeckSprouts Supermarkets Recalls Frozen Spinach Due to Listeria FearsA-Fib Can Raise Dementia Risk, Even in Absence of StrokeAnother Climate Change Threat: More 'Flesh-Eating' Bacteria?Heading to Europe This Summer? Get Your Measles ShotAiling Heart Can Speed the Brain's Decline, Study FindsHealth Tip: Preventing GlaucomaHead Injuries Tied to Motorized Scooters Are Rising: StudyOverweight Kids Are at Risk for High Blood PressureHot Water Soak May Help Ease Poor Leg CirculationHealth Tip: Understanding RosaceaHealth Tip: Causes of Swollen Lymph NodesAHA News: Study Provides Rare Look at Stroke Risk, Survival Among American IndiansScared Safe: Pics of Sun's Damage to Face Boost Sunscreen UseNo Needle Prick: Laser-Based Test Hunts Stray Melanoma Cells in BloodBats Are Biggest Rabies Danger, CDC SaysEmgality Receives First FDA Approval for Treating Cluster HeadacheZerbaxa Approved for Hospital-Acquired Bacterial PneumoniaBlood From Previously Pregnant Women Is Safe for Donation: StudyStudy Refutes Notion That People on Warfarin Shouldn't Eat Leafy GreensCancer Survivors Predicted to Top 22 Million by 2030Your Guide to a Healthier Home for Better Asthma ControlHigh Blood Pressure at Doctor's Office May Be More Dangerous Than SuspectedAHA News: 3 Simple Steps Could Save 94 Million Lives WorldwideHealth Tip: Dealing With Motion SicknessHealth Tip: Symptoms of MeningitisRace Affects Life Expectancy in Major U.S. CitiesVitamin D Supplements Don't Prevent Type 2 Diabetes: StudyChickenpox Vaccine Shields Kids From Shingles, TooWhooping Cough Vaccine Effectiveness Fades With Time: StudyHealth Tip: Early Signs of Lyme DiseaseHealth Tip: Hiccup Home RemediesSheep Study Shows a Stuffy Side Effect of VapingShould Air Quality Checks Be Part of Your Travel Planning?Health Tip: Preventing Swimmer's Ear
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Cancer
Men's Health
Women's Health

Bad Info May Be Scaring Patients Away From Heart-Healthy Statins

HealthDay News
by By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Mar 27th 2019

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, March 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- More than a quarter of people who could benefit from taking statins don't, and a new survey suggests that while not enough doctors are prescribing the cholesterol-lowering drugs, fears about side effects also play a part.

"There is so much misinformation about statins in the media that it's clearly permeated and now is affecting people's ability to take these medications and improve their cardiovascular health," said lead author Dr. Corey Bradley. She's a researcher at the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C.

The new survey focused on almost 5,700 older adults who'd been recommended for statin therapy, based on data kept in a national registry that tracks cholesterol management and heart disease treatment.

Popular prescribed statins include atorvastatin (Lipitor), rosuvastatin (Crestor), pravastatin (Pravachol) and simvastatin (Zocor).

More than 26 percent of the patients, 1,511, were not taking statins even though they'd benefit from them, the survey revealed.

About 31 percent of those not taking statins said they'd tried the drugs but stopped, and another 10 percent said they turned down the medication outright when a doctor recommended it, researchers found.

Side effects were the most common reason given by these folks, and they were less likely to believe statins are safe than people who used the medication.

However, there's also strong evidence that doctors aren't doing everything they can to prescribe these medications for those who need them.

Fifty-nine percent of adults not taking statins said they weren't because a doctor had never offered them a prescription.

It's possible that some of these people were offered statins and forgot, but that in itself is damning, Bradley said.

"If a patient didn't remember the conversation, it likely wasn't an effective one," she said. "We need to improve the way we frame these conversations and continue to have them."

The findings were published March 27 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Bad or misleading information circulating about statins is overwhelming doctors' efforts to get patients to take the cholesterol-fighting medications, said Dr. Nieca Goldberg, who wasn't involved with the study. She's a cardiologist and medical director of the NYU Langone Joan H. Tisch Center for Women's Health in New York City.

Estimates are that about 1 in every 10 patients have a side effect from statins, Goldberg said. Muscle aches are the most commonly reported side effect.

Despite this, clinical trials have shown that the difference in muscle ache symptoms between people on statins and those taking placebos is less than 1 percent, and about 0.1 percent for people who stopped taking statins due to muscle pain, according to a December review published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

"When patients get a new medicine, they discuss it with their friends or they look it up online, and they get so much information," Goldberg said. "Some of patients who really are concerned about taking the medicine are really only focused on the side effects. They go online and get the side effects of the medicine, and that data is not put into perspective for them by anyone."

Patients were more likely to report never being offered a statin if they were female (22 percent higher odds), black (48 percent higher), or uninsured (38 percent higher). Those seen by a cardiologist were more likely to be offered a statin than those in primary care.

Bradley and Goldberg said doctors need to come up with better ways to talk with patients about statins and the drugs' perceived side effects, especially if the person has stopped taking them.

Despite their concerns, about 60 percent of the patients who stopped taking a statin would consider retrying it, the survey showed.

"We have a tendency to view that if a patient stops a medication they were previously on, then that's a closed door," Bradley said. "This study suggests we should re-engage with the patient and discuss their concerns."

Goldberg said she encourages her patients to forward their questions and concerns through a secure internet portal, "so there's a continuing dialogue.

"We don't start the day wanting to prescribe medicine to everyone, but we do want to lower a person's risk, and sometimes lowering risk for heart disease involves not only diet and exercise, but needing a medication," Goldberg said.

More information

The Mayo Clinic has more about statin side effects.




Facebook

Amazon Smile

To quit smoking, call Connecticut QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Children and Adult services are available now with no wait time.  Please contact HBH Intake Department at 860-548-0101, option 2.

 


powered by centersite dot net